Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A world of pain

'Twas a football-themed night of TV for me. Spoilers for, in order, "Veronica Mars" and "Friday Night Lights," just as soon as I pour myself a white Russian...

I have a friend who's a massive Veronica/Logan 'shipper, so when a "Veronica Mars" episode barely has the two interacting, she gets mad, no matter how good the rest of the hour might have been. After the two of them shared only one scene last week, I think she was on the verge of driving to the production office and smashing all the windows on Rob's car while bellowing something about how this is what happens when you do something bad to a stranger...

Sorry, went on a "Lebowski" digression there for a second, though I was helped along by maybe the best shout-out to The Dude and Walter that they've done so far, with the Wichita linebacker's "Where's the playbook, Larry? Where's the playbook? You're entering a world of pain, Larry." Really, the only thing that would have made it better was if Larry's roommate was in an iron lung at the time.

Anyway, back to Veronica and her fella. This was a rare episode when all the mysteries took a backseat to Veronica's love life, with the playbook story in particular almost feeling like an afterthought. But I suppose you have to feed the 'shippers from time to time, and I liked that Veronica realized what a paranoid loon she was becoming. Plus, that story featured my favorite non-Lebowski line, with Logan's joke about Madison Sinclair being able to testify to Dick's status as a minute man.

This was a fairly light-hearted hour, with the two darkest events -- Weevil beating up the abusive boyfriend and the blonde getting raped -- taking place off-screen. And if the purpose of doing shorter arcs was to avoid the loss of momentum that both the bus crash and the bridge stabbing suffered in the middle of last year, I'm not sure it's working yet. There's going to be a significant rape storyline next week, but that'll still mean two out of the first four episodes barely dealt with it at all.

And am I the only one who wishes Weevil got to keep his job as Keith's new guy Friday?

Meanwhile, "Friday Night Lights" offered up its first non-Berg-directed episode. At first, I didn't feel the same sense of urgency I got in the first two episodes (the ditching of the day of the week title cards didn't help), but then we got to Taylor taking a page out of the Herb Brooks playbook and making the guys run until they came back together. (Though as a huge fan of "Miracle," the blatant theft/homage was a little distracting even there. It's one thing for "Battlestar Galactica" to steal from a 40-year-old movie like "The Great Escape," and another for this show to steal from a movie that came out two years ago.) Even without Berg behind the camera, the show continues to look amazing, particularly those shots at the end of the ringer QB from New Orleans wandering through the Dillon practice. And Kyle Chandler, usually such a mellow guy on screen, really had me believing in Taylor's new red-ass approach.

Haven't gotten all the way through "Gilmore Girls" yet, and probably won't until tonight. Off to write a column...


R.A. Porter said...

I wanted Weevil to stay on with Keith too, especially since they look more alike now than ever (I thought Logan was a bit beefier this season, but Weevil's really packed on some pounds.) However, I suspect his new-found interest in detection and position on campus will be key in the rape arc.

Anonymous said...

Part of me felt the lack of Logan/Veronica interaction last week made this week's jealousy plot seem off. I mean, it never seemed like Veronica was craving quality time before this and suddenly she's all "Logan's ignoring me!Waa!" Also, she has keys to both his hotel room and, apparently, his car. While Logan of past seasons is certainly worthy of suspicion, Logan of this season has been nothing but trustworthy.

And,for all the talk of them not seeing each other, it's the most time they've shared onscreen all season. It was nice to focus on Veronica's life for a change, but it kind of felt like drama for drama's sake.

Finally, her comment about trust not coming naturally to her? Totally doesn't apply if your name happens to be Duncan. He got nothing but the benefit of the doubt.

I can't believe they nixed Weevil and Keith as officemates so quickly. Aren't they always looking for ways to give Kristen Bell some time off?

My biggest beef with this season thus far is the Lillith House/Lampoon guys, both of which are painted with the broadest possible strokes.

Anyway, a good episode overall, but not as good as last week's.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

Weevil and Fat Apollo should open their own detective agency together.

K J Gillenwater said...

I agree with the other commenters, I really would have liked Weevil to continue working for Keith, but I can see how a maintenance job on campus will come in handy to help out Veronica. Plus, he will get more air time with Veronica and his old classmates. However, that also means Keith is hardly on the show at all anymore...if Weevil had kept his job with Keith at the agency, more time could have been spent on that.

As for "Friday Night Lights," I LOVED this episode! So much better than the other two. A BIG improvement over last week. I sort of like that they cut the days of the week b/c it made me think last week I was going to see a football game, and then it didn't happen.

This week there was so much more character-development with Tim, Lily, and Jason. Now I feel like I understand these people better. And I was *so* glad that Jason shut up his super-peppy, always up-beat girlfriend.

Also, they have started to move away from the football game being the central story. We only saw small snippets of the losing game...I hope it stays that way, so we can have more time getting to know everyone.

Oh, and I liked that a lot of the episode took place during school hours instead of in that dumb diner where everyone hangs out all the time.

Anonymous said...

When I saw Weevil open the door to the Dean's office, I said: "Oh my god, Weevil is the new Wallace!" As a maintenance staffer he'll have access to all of the things (disciplinary files, in particular) that Veronica used to ask Wallace to get for her back at Neptune High -- at least, that's my guess about where this is going. Speaking of Wallace, I missed him this week.

Not as good as last week's episode, I agree. Thinking back to season 1, even in the fluffiest episodes Veronica always did something related to solving Lilly's murder. I wish we'd seen her pursue the rape investigation at least a little bit. Yes, it got mentioned a couple of times, but there's a difference between being reminded about the big mystery and seeing Veronica take a step towards solving it.

Anonymous said...

"I have a friend who's a massive Veronica/Logan 'shipper, so when a 'Veronica Mars' episode barely has the two interacting, she gets mad, no matter how good the rest of the hour might have been."

What is wrong with these people?

"And am I the only one who wishes Weevil got to keep his job as Keith's new guy Friday?"

No, you are not. Although he looks like he needs a job that gives him a little more exercise. All that starchy prison food, I guess.

Oh! And how awesome was Ed Begley Jr.?

Anonymous said...

This is kinda of a random comment/question, but since we're talking V-Mars and The Big Lebowski, I'm going to go ahead and ask it:

In season 1, when Veronica's at-the-time-drug-dealing-boyfriend (who came back last season in the Hearst episode) got his car stolen, was it from the same parking lot that "The Dude" got his car stolen from in the movie?

If anyone knows, I'd be as pleased as punch to find out (I feel like the answer is yes, but haven't found a source to confirm my theory).

Anonymous said...

I had the same thought about FNL blatantly ripping off "Miracle". However, thinking about it some more, ripping off a contemporary movie for motivational tools is exactly the type of ploy most high school football coaches I've dealt with would do. The show is offering a very realistic portrait of the coach - saying the right thing about the refugee QB, but then recruiting him the next day, etc.

Anonymous said...


dark tyler said...

FNL is an amazing show, and I can't believe that I am so into it. I only got into it because I love Peter Berg, but not being an American, I have absolutely no understanding of american football (or, just football in America, I guess :P). Still, every week there are many moments that give me the chills (like when Jason glanced towards those damn Friday night lights from his room's window) and I can honestly say that I have not loved a new show as much as this in the last two and a half years. I am a huge Sorkin nut, and one of the few (at least I think so) who comment on this blog and still love Studio 60, but having to choose between the two, I hope NBC gives FNL the season pass.

I cannot believe I just admitted that. I'm gonna be crying all night now. I'm so, so sorry, Aaron. Damn.